Human rights

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The car that was set ablaze outside Perth’s Thornlie Mosque. Offensive graffiti was also scrawled on a wall nearby. AAP

Can religious vilification laws protect religious freedoms?

Legislating against racial and religious vilification is highly fraught, as the ongoing debate around Section 18C has demonstrated, and unlikely to become less so any time soon.
Tshwane Executive Mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa, surrounded by school pupils and officials, samples the metropole’s free internet service. Pretoria News/Masi Losi

South Africa’s vote against internet freedom tarnishes its global image

That South Africa has voted against rights enshrined in its globally celebrated, progressive constitution suggests a troubling indifference to its human rights commitments.
In addition to a shortage of public toilets, current innovations in their design may not be suitable for an ageing population. AAP/City of Sydney

Caught short: we need to talk about public toilets

Millions of people need to be confident that suitable public toilets will be available when they leave their homes. A shortage of such facilities is a serious problem for an ageing population.
Baby Lurky, whose family was displaced by Boko Haram in the northeast region of Nigeria, sleeps at a camp in Adamawa State. Reuters/Afolabi Sotunde

Nigeria’s constitution holds the key to protecting internally displaced people

The rise in the number of people fleeing Boko Haram terror calls for urgent amendments to Nigeria's constitution to provide legal protection to the country's millions of internally displaced citizens.
Outgoing UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s successor faces the challenge of making the organisation more accountable. UN

What can be done to stop the United Nations abusing its immunity

The ‘functional immunity’ granted to UN officials made good sense when the body was founded after World War II. But as its organisational functions have expanded, so has this immunity.
A bathroom in a Los Angeles school is marked for all genders. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Why trans rights nationwide are only a matter of time

New White House guidelines on sex discrimination have caused backlash in some states and school districts. But it won't last, according to researcher at UMass Amherst.
Masked sex workers lead a march to mark International Sex Workers’ Rights Day. Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

Debate around sex work in South Africa tilts towards decriminalisation

Sex workers in South Africa are all potential criminals due to the country's regressive laws. But their status may change soon, making South Africa the first African country to decriminalise sex work.

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